Welcoming a newborn comes with a lot of changes and responsibilities. A major aspect essential for your little one’s growth and early development is feeding. As a new parent, you may have questions and concerns about the best approach to feeding your baby. A UK survey has revealed that although 80% of newborns are breastfed, others are bottle-fed or given semi-skimmed milk. What you settle for may depend on several factors. Here are four essential feeding tips to help you navigate this important aspect of parenting.
- Establish a breastfeeding routine
Breast milk is the optimal source of nutrition for newborns because of its essential nutrients and antibodies. More importantly, studies have shown that it promotes bonding between mother and baby. A successful breastfeeding routine requires a comfortable and relaxed environment. The first thing is to find a quiet spot to sit or lie comfortably. Remember to use pillows to support your back and arms to prevent aches when you’re done feeding your newborn. Knowing and identifying your baby’s hunger cues, such as sucking motions or rooting reflex, is also vital. That can guide you in determining when to nurse. Many UK paediatricians encourage frequent and on-demand breastfeeding sessions to stimulate a good milk supply. Even if it’s not your first baby, remember that breastfeeding is a learning process for you and your newborn. Every baby is different, so patience is essential in such moments. If needed, you can also seek support from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support group.
- Introduce bottle feeding if needed or advised
Every baby has different demands, which can affect their feeding. Therefore, sometimes, breastfeeding may be impossible or cannot be continued. Some mothers may also prefer to supplement with formula, especially when they cannot produce adequate breast milk for their newborns. No matter the reason, you must introduce bottle feeding with care. Start by choosing the baby formula that suits your little one’s needs. You will find various options to address peculiar health issues, including dairy free baby formula Australia options. These formulas are designed for infants with allergies or intolerances to cow milk proteins. They are typically made from plant-based proteins, which provide the necessary nutrients for your newborn’s development. Although these are healthy, it is crucial to consult your baby’s paediatrician before switching to a dairy-free formula and ensure they suit your little one’s specific needs. When introducing the bottle, hold your baby close and make eye contact to foster a sense of closeness and security. Once again, follow your baby’s hunger cues and try to mimic the natural rhythm of breastfeeding. Remember to allow breaks as needed.
- Burping and positioning
Burping your baby during and after feeding releases any trapped or swallowed air. It reduces discomfort from gas and colic. The right way to burp your baby is to hold them against your chest or shoulder, with their head and neck properly supported. Gently pat or rub your baby’s back until you hear them expel air through the mouth. You may find that some babies respond better to being upright or slightly tilted. It is, therefore, necessary to experiment with different positions to see what works best for your infant. In addition to burping your baby, it is good to know that how you position your baby plays a significant role in their feeding. Proper positioning during feeding is crucial to prevent choking and ensure your baby swallows comfortably. Therefore, whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, ensure your baby’s head and body are properly aligned to maintain normal breathing. During this time, keep your infant’s upper body slightly elevated to aid the easy passage of milk down the throat into the stomach.